France prop Mas refreshed after break and eyeing World Cup
27 August 2014 13:57pm
France prop Nicolas Mas insists he is back refreshed after a break
Nicolas Mas insists he has come out the other side of a difficult tour to Australia and is adamant rest will be key to ensuring he reaches the World Cup at his peak.
The 34-year-old prop suffered with homesickness during France's tour Down Under, which saw the Wallabies win all three Tests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
Mas was named captain for the opening 50-23 defeat but placed on the bench for the 6-0 second Test loss and then not included as they fell 39-13 to end the tour.
A much-needed break has followed for Mas, who has started every match of each of the last two RBS 6 Nations, though and he's certain more will be need before the World Cup next year.
"It wasn't easy to go through," he told L'Equipe. "I really wasn't well; I was a long way away, from everything, from my wife, from my children.
"There were a lot of different feelings. The pride of being captain, the lack of understanding when it came to the game and the scrum and there was this tiredness.
"I wasn't in a state where I could play an important role, and I didn't want to take a chance with my health.
"I had a good break for four weeks, the seasons are long and I'm starting to need some time off. I spent a lot of time with my family and that's vital for some balance.
"I've been coming and going for a few years now and with my wife, my two sons and my daughter [born during France's New Zealand tour last year], we missed each other.
"Of course I'm thinking about the World Cup and I will do everything I can to get there. But there is a way to go before we get there, and it can't just be a target in itself. I want to get there in the best possible form."
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.
After missing out on England's 2015 RBS 6 Nations campaign through injury, centre Brad Barritt admits he is determined to make up for that disappointment in style with club side Saracens during the season run-in.